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Kalispell Daily Inter Lake Newspaper Archives May 11 1990, Page 4

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Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Newspaper) - May 11, 1990, Kalispell, Montana Local option tax idea draws mixed reviews by Rick Hull the Dally inter Lake Quot a resort tax May not be the solution to the problems in Whitefish but it certainly has worked for us in West Yellowstone Quot said Ken Davis former mayor of the tourist town at a forum thursday in Whitefish. But Greg Bryan of Bay Point estates in Whitefish predicted that such a tax would push Whitefish tourists to Kalispell. A often we lose groups on a Dollar a Dollar and half a room Quot he said. And state rep. Ben Cohen said it would be an Uphill Battle to get the legislature to extend the local option tax privilege to Wii Refish. Presently Only red Lodge and West Yellowstone qualify. The Whitefish chamber of Commerce sponsored the forum which attracted about 40 people. Because of the influx of a million and half tourists West Yellowstone had five times the government Cost of comparably sized towns and Little to show for it said Davis. A you see for those 750 people to pay for the services of one and a half million there Are some inequities Quot he said. A local option sales tax on everything except unprepared or unnerved food Medicine snowmobiles and cars necessities and purchases at the state liquor store now raises about $600,000 a year. West Yellowstone used the Money to pave its streets put in a storm sewer and water system and buy fire trucks and police cars. City property taxes were Cut by 27 percent Dale Ennor Whitefish City manager described a scenario where a 3-percent local option tax would raise $1 million a year. A Quarter of that would Roll Back property taxes by 25 percent he said. A i perhaps have the Best segment a i can dream a he said. Displaying a Sample property tax statement he said it would save this Home owner $115 a year. The Home owner and his wife would have to spend $320 a month on restaurant meals bar drinks and other taxable items to use up that saving he calculated. About half the local option Money would probably be left Over for streets a enough for two major Road projects a year. The Only problem would be if the state tried to overhaul Montana a tax system perhaps with a sales tax and found the Effort complicated by local option taxes in 20 or 30 communities said Ennor. A but i support it Quot he said. A i like the Home Rule concept a adding that he has no Faith in the Legisla ture solving the states tax problems. Bryan one of the creators of Montana a successful bed tax said the bed tax and motels would be the first victims of the local option tax. The bulk of Whitefish tourists Are Money conscious and would drive to Kalispell to save on purchases even if the savings were More perceived than real he predicted. It is naive to believe that Kalispell advertise the Price difference he said. But others said better roads and Parks financed by the tax might draw tourists to Whitefish and keep them there. Ennor said the Community needs to come up with a proposal quickly and prepare now for a Strong lobbying Effort in the 1991 legislature. Among the issues to be settled should it be citywide should it be school District wide so the big Mountain could be brought in or should it be countywide to prevent intercity Competition. Cohen suggested asking state sen. Bob Brown to Start the legislative staff working on a Bill. As an incumbent senator Brown is one of Only 25 legislators who can request a draft Bill he said. State will make up tax Relief shortfall the plays the thing father Daly Dale Harvey left watches disapprovingly As James tation of a the it is one of two one act plays running today Drake Colin Williams prison inmate fearlessly confronts War and saturday at 8 . And sunday at 7 . At the Bistro gallery. Den Holt Doug Mead during Shoebox theater company s presen inter Lake photo by Karen Nichols Sun Road open to Jackson Glacier Helena apr the state says it will reimburse local governments and schools Dollar for Dollar for losses they suffer under a new Law that reduces property tax rates for business machinery and equipment Montana association of counties officials estimated that a questionable interpretation of the new Law could have resulted in the loss of $2.72 million to counties schools cities and other local taxing jurisdictions. A it looks like we be gotten it sorted out a said Gordon Morris the associations executive director. A it appears the governor is supportive and the director of the department of Revenue is attempting to solve the problem a there will be no loss to any local governments a said Revenue department director Denis Adams. A it seems to be everyone a consensus the intent was to use 1989 As a base year for however he said the 1991 legislature could have to grapple with How to calculate reimbursements to local governments and schools in ensuing years. The special session last summer reduced personal property tax rates on business machinery and equipment from la 13 and 16 percent of value to a single 9 percent rate to make Montana More competitive with surrounding states. Lawmakers and the Stephens administration agreed to reimburse local governments and taxing jurisdictions for the Revenue loss an estimated $17 million a year. But the reimbursement Section was subject to different interpretations of How the reimbursement amount should be calculated. Rep. Mark of Keefe a Helena had said he would bring up the Issue during the upcoming special session of the legislature if the administration had not dealt with the Issue administratively. Visitors on the East Side of Glacier Park will be Able to drive on going to the Sun Road As far As the Jackson Glacier Overlook beginning today. Amy Vanderbilt Park information officer said today that blowing on the Road continues on schedule. A a we re still targeting june 13 As opening Date for the Road. We May have to give or take a few Days depending on weather but right now we seem to be on track Quot she said. Vanderbilt said the late Winter storm last week did not significantly affect the Crews. A they continued working when weather allowed and kept up with the schedule Quot she said. The West Side of going to the Sun is open to vehicles As far As the Loop. Pedestrians and bicyclists Are permitted to go a few Miles beyond the Loop Vanderbilt said. Camas Road Many Glacier Road and two Medicine Road have All been slowed and Are open. Rangers last week discovered a collapsed shoulder on the inside North Fork Road and Crews Are working repair the Road Vanderbilt said. A the area is at fish Creek Hill a few Miles North of the beginning of the Road a she said. A evidence suggests it was caused by clogged culverts that caused a concentration of water in the area we Hope to have a decision next week on when the Road will be she added that Polebridge Road into the Park is closed while Crews regrade the Road. Construction of new buildings at the Polebridge Ranger station Complex to replace those structures damaged by the red Bench fire in 1988 has caused some degradation of the Road Vanderbilt said. A the Road was rerouted slightly As Well a she said. She did not know when the Road will open. Lack of agents hinders probes Helena apr state criminal investigators Are working nearly too cases this month and the number would be dramatically higher if there were More agents to handle additional cases a state official says. A we know we can do More. There a More work for us to do than we have agents to work a said Gary Carrell Justice department Law enforcement services division administrator. Rather than attributing the workload to increased crime Overall Carrell said the trend reflects Busy local agencies a police and sheriffs departments that his agents Are assigned to assist Carrells division comprises the criminal investigation Bureau which has 16 investigators who work in Helena Missoula Billings and great Falls. As of wednesday the Bureau was investigating 65 narcotics cases la workers compensation cases eight fraud felony theft cases three homicides and two sexual assaults he said. A a in a confident if we put four More general investigators in Here wed still have More than we could do Quot Carrell said. A Elf we put one in Glasgow for example head be swamped last year the Bureau investigated 148 narcotics cases bringing in $1.9 million in seized drugs. Since 1982, the Bureau has seized illegal drugs Worth nearly $10 million. It also investigated 16 deaths in 1989, among them a still unsolved Case involving Walt Sullivan a labor department worker who was found shot to death last november near Shelby. Carrell said two investigators Are assigned to the Case although neither is working full time on the investigation for Lack of evidence and because of other pressing studies Airport future Briery by Joann Speelman the Dally inter Lake the future use of land around Kalispell City Airport was debated this morning by a City Council committee that will request the Council rezone the area to allow Light Industrial uses that May not be related to Airport business. The Council has wrestled for months with what to do about the City Airport which has an unpaid $150,000 debt for improvements. Whether the Airport should continue to exist is part of that discussion. The Airport committee was asked if it would be receptive to removal of deed restrictions on the former Stockhill aviation property and a zone change to allow Sale of the property so it can be used for a furniture manufacturing business. When the City sold the property to Stock Hills in 1964, a 2&-year deed restriction limited the facility to Airport related uses. Mike Stockhill wants the deed restriction lifted and asked about possible rezoning to allow Sale to dark Averill of Bigfork who wants to move his furniture manufacturing business there from Bigfork. Committee members Barb Moses Noel Furlong and Jim Atkinson discussed what the future of the Airport should be agreeing Light Industrial uses would be compatible with what already exists around the Airport they also agreed with a suggestion by county planner Dave Greer to ask the full Council to consider a b-5 zone for the portion of Airport land adjacent to 93. This would open the door for retail and office buildings As Well As Light Industrial uses. Moses questioned How the City could protect the aesthetics along the Highway since it is a main Entrance to the City. Greer suggested an Overall plan be developed for City property around the Airport providing for landscaping and placement to protect the View. City Parks director Mike Baker who oversees Airport management said Federal regulations will restrict what can happen close to the Airport so safety for planes is assured. Mayor Roger Hopkins said he Felt the Light Industrial recommendation should go to the full Council at its meeting May 21. He said it provides a message the City wants Industry homesteader Bill introduced sen. Conrad Burns a Mon today introduced legislation to Grant two Brothers the right to occupy a 130-acre tract of land in Glacier National Park. Conwell and Gerald Robinson both in their 70s and living in great Falls once owned the property homesteaded by their maternal grandparents prior to the creation of Glacier Park 80 years ago today. The site is known As the Mccarthy Cabin near big Prairie. Their property was taken from them in a condemnation proceeding by the . Government in 1967, according to a Burns press release. Park records indicate the Brothers first offered to sell the property to the Park service. Agency officials were told the that the family would either sell the property to the government or Divide it and sell it for development the family was not satisfied with the government offer of the appraised value of $65,000, and the Brothers agreed in 1967 to condemnation proceedings to get a higher value of $82,500 for the property. The Brothers were also granted a five year permit to use the property and the permit was extended another to years before the Agency disallowed further use of the property. Burns Bill does not Transfer any ownership rights to the Robinsons but allows them the use of the caretaker charged a preliminary hearing is set for May 25 in Justice court for Chester Kingery 67, charged with two felony counts of deceptive practices for alleged misuse of cemetery plots. Kalispell police arrested the former caretaker of Conrad memorial cemetery thursday. He appeared before Justice of the peace Stewart Stadler who set Bond at $20,000. Kingery is accused of converting grave Sites he did not own at the cemetery for his own use More specifically allegedly giving three Sites to an employee whom he Felt was going a Good Job and three others to pay off a debt following a Pool game. Value of the Sites is set at $750. Police said Kingery who was relieved of duties As cemetery caretaker several months ago claims he was entitled to the District gets Grant for teen parents course by Chery Sabol the Dally inter Lake the Kalispell school District has won a Grant for a two tiered class aimed at educating teen age parents on their new responsibilities and keeping them in school. Betty Thompson a Home economics teacher who will teach the class said the District won a Federal Carl Perkins vocational Grant administered through the state office of Public instruction. A when a student becomes pregnant she becomes eligible for the teen parenting classes Quot Thompson said. Young fathers Are As Welcome in the classes As girls she added. The Grant was one of two written under direction of a teen parenting advisory Board that formed last fall. The first class will serve expectant parents. A it gets into networking to find out what services Are available a Thompson said. It will include guest speakers and topics on options self esteem prenatal care and development and Ca re of infants. A Public health nurse will be lined with the class As an outreach worker Thompson said. The semester Long credited class will take students from Junior High school High school and the alternative High school laser. Students from neighbouring communities May also attend. The second class is designed for students who keep their babies. It will also cover self esteem child development and Community services and networking. The Grant request was for $3,000 in materials and about $13,000 for the teacher s salary for three periods a two for the actual classes and one for her to counsel students and contacting appropriate agencies. The District Hasni to been notified whether the entire request was funded. Although the Grant helps with Start up the class is expected to be self supporting Thompson said through reimbursement the school receives from the stale for each student in school a students who might otherwise drop out last year there were 22 births to teen agers in the school District and 47 abortions. A your goal is to get them to graduate from High school and into some Job training. We want them to look beyond High school into the future Quot Thompson said. Similar classes Are taught in great Falls Missoula and Billings Thompson said As a health education and wellness Issue not a moral Issue. Some additional funding is sought to help pay the outreach worker s salary Thompson said. That worker will begin in july to organize the program. The District wont know until August about a second Grant application that is integral to the teen parenting class. The Money would be used to remodel the basement of the nurturing Center providing a Day care facility for Young parents. With reliable affordable Day care for their babies Young parents will be More Likely to stay in school the advisory Board believes

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